Field Notes From The Edge
Journeys through Britain's Secret Wilderness
Paperback published 6 April 2017
A Times,Guardian and Independent
'BOOK OF THE YEAR'
Field Notes From The Edge
by Paul Evans, published by Rider Books and inside illustrations by Maria Nunzia @Varvera
In Field Notes From The Edge, one of Britain’s foremost nature writers takes us on a journey through Britain’s hidden wilderness. Here, celebrated naturalist Paul Evans explores the gaps between one place, one state of mind, one truth and another. This beautifully written book is a work of dark wonder, capturing our changing world and treading the narrow way between our love of Nature and fear of it.
From Shropshire’s Wenlock Edge, which he knows so well, Paul Evans looks at other kinds of ‘edge’ and the wild lives that inhabit them in ruins, strandlines, caves, heaths, islands, marshes, swarms, even bodies. From ice-age caves to ancient hedgerows, this is a celebration of things lost, overlooked or hiding in plain sight.
Observant and beautifully written from a collection of field notes of first-hand experience, this is a life’s journey into Nature and a must-read for any nature-lover.
Best known as an author of The Guardian’s Country Diary column, Paul Evans is a naturalist, university lecturer, broadcaster of natural-history documentaries and award-winning dramas for Radio 4, and performance poet. He’s already acclaimed as one of Britain’s leading nature writers – the ‘John Clare of his generation’.
In his academic work, Paul Evans is a senior lecturer in creative writing at Manchester Metropolitan University and teaches undergraduate and postgraduate courses; he was previously at Bath Spa University where he designed and led the Travel & Nature Writing MA. His practice as research centres on ways creative writing responds to Nature through prose & poetry in print, radio broadcast and performance.
He writes for publications including BBC Wildlife, Geographical, The National Trust Magazine and Country Living and his work appears in many anthologies. In his time he has also been a grave digger, managed gardens for the National Trust, worked for Percy Thrower, been commissioned by a billionaire to collect samples of all the plants in eastern North America, fronted a Punk band and looked after botanical gardens in New York. He has had his poetry set to music by an American folk group and even been the subject of an MA at a Belgian university. He lives with his family in Much Wenlock, Shropshire where he was born.
Studies in Ecocriticism
Review of Field Notes from the Edge by Prof. Terry Gifford, poet & ecocritic
''From data to dream, from virus to vision, Field Notes from the Edge is not only the touchstone for future nature writers, it is, for readers, an exemplary and challenging reminder of why we should mitigate the Anthropocene from our own edgelands."
The leading international weekly for literary culture.
Where the wild things are
"The latest crop of nature-writing books, and wildness is all. There’s a quiet ferocity running through these three very different volumes, powerful yet subtle, refreshingly practical and quotidian – and leagues away from the teen fantasies of George Monbiot with his schemes for “rewilding”. So we have John Lewis-Stempel retro-farming a field of wheat, John Wright rootling about in hedges, and Paul Evans in rapt communion with the fairy folk .....
....Thus the landscape does not need to be made strange by wheezes to reintroduce charismatic species; it is already magical for those who have the eyes (and imagination) to see. Evans’s book is a manifesto for fey living rather than rewilding: “I am fascinated by the idea that some places frighten us for reasons we don’t understand; places that feel weird, eerie, sinister, the eldritch places (from the Old English for a strange country, the Otherworld)”. Evans wants us to become more experienced in immaterial encounters, alive to the “eco-gothic” rather than being victims of ecophobia – the anxiety that “Nature bites back” despite human attempts to control and harness it through managing (and denuding) the environment ".
literary ecocritic, nature writer, author of Cold Blood
novelist, poet, short-story writer, professor of fiction, author of I’ll Go to Bed at Noon, Nourishment, Vanishing.
naturalist, BBC radio producer, author of The Running Sky, The Poetry of Birds (with Simon Armitage)and Four Fields
What other authors are saying
Field Notes' magic lies partly in the sheer quality of the prose, partly in Evans' ability to loop together disparate threads in a way that feels both natural and carefully patterned: images and words recur, subtle altered each time, layering meaning upon meaning so that each chapter becomes rich with significance. It makes for a profoundly satisfying read.
Melissa Harrison author of 'At Hawthorn Time'
'Paul Evans ...a rare original. He made the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end with his mastery of otherwise unseen moments of life on earth ....'
Maggie Gee OBE FRSL novelist professor of creative writing, author of The White Family, The Ice People, Virginia Woolf in Manhattan.
Books & Anthologies
Field Notes From The Edge location photographs
For more information on availability to undertake, writing, radio, performances, interviews and photographic commissions or any further information please contact me using the email below.
Selected Works 2016/ 2017
Paperback Book Launches
Evans, P., (1 February 2018) Herbaceous, Toller Fratrum, Little Toller Books.
Evans, P., (April 2017) Field Notes From the Edge, London: Paperback, Rider Books.
Cooper, A., (21 Oct 2016) Arboreal: A Collection of Words from the Woods. Toller Fratrum, Little Toller Books.
Harrison, M., (19 May 2016) Summer: An Anthology for the Changing Seasons, London, Elliott & Thompson.
BBC Radio 3 & 4 programmes
Evans, P,. 2017. Coal, Cornerstones, The Essay. BBC Radio 3. 11 Jan 2017.
Retrieved from http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p04n84ty
Evans, P,. 2016. Sabrina and the Fish of No Return, The River. BBC Radio 4. 15 Aug 2016. Retrieved from http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b07nprbk
Evans, P,. 2016. Natural Histories - Yew. BBC Radio 4. 29 Nov 2016.
Retrieved from http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b082ymp5
Selected articles 2016 - 2017
Evans, P,. Sweetness of woodruff lingers down the ages. The Guardian. 10 May 2017
Evans, P,. The ancient magic of apple blossom time. The Guardian. 3 May 2017
Evans, P,. Milkwort steals the show at Figsbury Ring. The Guardian. 26 April 2017
Evans, P,. The bee-fly is a true sprite of spring. The Guardian. 12 April 2017.
Evans, P., Like love, violets gladden the heart. The Guardian. 5 April 2017
Evans, P,. Lament of the Nightingale. BBC Countryfile. 1 April 2017
Retrieved from https://www.magzter.com/preview/8845/212098#page/4
Evans, P,. Water spins into a million bubbles filled with light. The Guardian. 22 Mar 2017.
Evans, P,. Goulson, D., Smyth, R., Benson, R., White, S., Herbert, K., Hudston, S., Perrin, J., and others. It's blooming spring! The 20 best UK walks with a great pub lunch. The Guardian. 18 Mar 2017
Evans, P,. Simplicity and symbolism in flowers and poems. The Guardian. 22 Feb 2017
Evans, P,. Snowdrops: something at last to cheer about. The Guardian. 22 Feb 2017 Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/feb/22/snowdrops-something-at-last-to-cheer-about
Evans, P,. There's nothing dull about dunnocks . The Guardian. 8 Feb 2017. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/feb/08/nothing-dull-about-dunnocks-country-diary
Evans, P,. These squirrels are not native. So what? The Guardian. 1 Feb 2017.
Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/feb/01/these-squirrels-not-native-so-what- country-diary
Evans, P,. Wool on the wire that feeds on fog. The Guardian. 25 January 2017.
Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jan/25/wool-wire-feeds-fog-country-diary- wenlock-edge
Evans, P,. The tiny world in a rotten post top.The Guardian.11 Jan 2017.
Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jan/11/tiny-world-rotten-post-top-shrop- shire-country-diary
Evans, P,. Winter woods seen through the eyes of a buzzard. The Guardian. 14 Dec 2016.
Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/dec/14/winter-scene-through-eyes-buzzard- country-diary
Evans, P,. Echoes of War Amid The Sound of Nightingales. Resurgence & Ecologist. 9 Nov 2016.
Retrieved from http://www.resurgence.org/magazine/author1319-paul-evans.html
Evans, P,. Rain Sideways. Little Toller Books.1 Aug 2016.
Retrieved from https://www.littletoller.co.uk/the-clearing/rain-sideways-paul-evans/